Sunday and the pagan accusation


#1

I have read different accusations about Sunday being adapted from the pagan Sol Victus.
The church kept the Jewish calendar of weeks and every 7th day following the Resurection was called the Lords Day.
I was looking at a travel guide for Europe and see that Italy still calls it this…Dominica. Spain…Dominga. In France it is Dimanche [long gloves].
English comes from the Anglo Saxon languages…mostly northern Europe and every one: Dutch,Danish,Finnish,German,Icelandic,Norwegian and Sweedish all have a variation of Sunday. but countries that had christian communities in the first centuries do not.
Is this a case of forcing English onto an earlier language?

st julie


#2

In Acts 20:7 we find that Christians gather for the Eucharist on the day after the Sabbath, which would then be Sunday. The Lord’s Day is Sunday, or the Day of the Resurrection, not the day after the Resurrection.


#3

[quote=st julie]I have read different accusations about Sunday being adapted from the pagan Sol Victus.
The church kept the Jewish calendar of weeks and every 7th day following the Resurection was called the Lords Day.
I was looking at a travel guide for Europe and see that Italy still calls it this…Dominica. Spain…Dominga. In France it is Dimanche [long gloves].
English comes from the Anglo Saxon languages…mostly northern Europe and every one: Dutch,Danish,Finnish,German,Icelandic,Norwegian and Sweedish all have a variation of Sunday. but countries that had christian communities in the first centuries do not.
Is this a case of forcing English onto an earlier language?

st julie
[/quote]

Do you have an issue on the actual day that we celebrate or the name of the day? I am a little confused as to your point.


#4

The Christians HAD to wait til Sunday (whether or not they wanted to wait til Sunday, I don’t know). They originally worshipped in the Jewish synagogues. The Jews of this time tended to be rather pre-occupied with having their temple worship on Sabbath, so the early Christians had to do it on a different day. They were still considered a Jewish sect at the time, so they could use the synagogue for worship, but they could not interfere with the regularly scheduled Jewish rites.

It’s interesting to note that Acts also shows the apostles meeting together to “break bread” each day of the week. Hence, we have daily Mass!!!

Notworthy


#5

Sorry, I’m not quite clear on this: Are you asking**" Why do English speakers call this day Sunday, while it is called something else in other languages?"**


#6

Sorry…I’m talking about the actual word" Sunday". The argument is that it comes from paganism at the time of Constantine. I wonder if the word, as a day of the week, even existed at that time or appeared later as other languages., like English, came into being.

st julie


#7

[quote=st julie]Sorry…I’m talking about the actual word" Sunday". The argument is that it comes from paganism at the time of Constantine. I wonder if the word, as a day of the week, even existed at that time or appeared later as other languages., like English, came into being.

st julie
[/quote]

I had heard that Thursday came from the word Thor’s day. I am not certain if this is true though. I don’t think that it would matter whether the word Sunday is from a Pagan word or not. Many words have latin roots and the Romans were pagans.


#8

An article on Sunday from the Catholic Encyclopedia, probably more than you ever wanted to know! :wink:


#9

From St. Justin Martyr (AD 148-155)

But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and has assented to our teaching, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and for the baptized [illuminated] person, and for all others in every place, that we may be counted worthy, now that we have learned the truth, by our works also to be found good citizens and keepers of the commandments, so that we may be saved with an everlasting salvation. Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands.
And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying: “Amen!”. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to genoito [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.
And this food is called among us *ukaristia * [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh…
…And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration. (Apologia Ch. 65-67)


#10

[quote=deb1]I had heard that Thursday came from the word Thor’s day. I am not certain if this is true though. I don’t think that it would matter whether the word Sunday is from a Pagan word or not. Many words have latin roots and the Romans were pagans.
[/quote]

Our week and our year are filled with feasts that have been “baptized” by the church. Sunday, the day of Christ’s, became the weekly feast of that event. Friday is after the Norse Goddess Freia, Thursday after the Norse God Thor, Wednesday in Germany is Wodenstag, the chief Norse God, Christmas is celebrated on the old pagan feast of Sol Invictus( the Victorius Sun) because the feast was a time of great celebration by the pagans and the church, rather than have Christians, honoring the Sun along with their neighbors, “baptized” it as the feast of the newborn Jesus. It is a canard that some protestents use to try and prove that the Catholic Church is pagan. What we do as Church on these days gives the lie to that false accusation.


#11

[quote=rwoehmke]Our week and our year are filled with feasts that have been “baptized” by the church. Sunday, the day of Christ’s, became the weekly feast of that event. Friday is after the Norse Goddess Freia, Thursday after the Norse God Thor, Wednesday in Germany is Wodenstag, the chief Norse God, Christmas is celebrated on the old pagan feast of Sol Invictus( the Victorius Sun) because the feast was a time of great celebration by the pagans and the church, rather than have Christians, honoring the Sun along with their neighbors, “baptized” it as the feast of the newborn Jesus. It is a canard that some protestents use to try and prove that the Catholic Church is pagan. What we do as Church on these days gives the lie to that false accusation.
[/quote]

I fully agree with your post.:slight_smile: Besides, as the ancient Romans ruled much of the ancient world, it would be impossible for our culture not to be influenced by them. Wedding rings were a pagan invention but I don’t find that extreme fundamentalists are crying out for a wedding ring banishment.


#12

Thanks for the Catholic encyclopedia link. It would seem that the Roman Empire was using weeks by Justin Martyrs day.
I often wondered if the Latin was translated as “Sunday”. because that is the word we use in English Thanks
st julie


#13

No, referring to the first day of the week as “Sunday” (or some similar term) was common in the Meditteranean (as is especially born out in Constantine’s Sunday decree c.312). The alleged connection between “paganism” and Sunday has also long been dealt with by the Catholic church. To give you an idea of how early this has been the case (and as more evidence of the Meditteranean use of “Sunday”):

Tertullian, c. 197 CE

“Others… suppose that the sun is the god of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray towards the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity.” (Ad Nationes I:XIII)

“In the same way, if we devote Sunday to rejoicing, from a far different reason than Sun-worship.” (Apology, section 16)

The Church has faced such charges for 18 centuries, and refuted them for 18 centuries.

IC XC NIKA

  • Hugo

#14

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